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A view of the airport check-in desks at Malaga (file image). Migue Fernández
Malaga Airport prepares for another record summer with more flights, more seats and more routes on offer
Air travel

Malaga Airport prepares for another record summer with more flights, more seats and more routes on offer

This peak holiday season the Costa del Sol will be connected to 136 destinations around the world via 11% more flights than last year and with a total of 20million seats on offer

Tuesday, 19 March 2024, 18:41

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The Costa del Sol is set to have a vibrant high season. Malaga Airport is preparing for another record summer with 20 million seats being offered by the airlines and 11% more flights than last year. In addition, the province will be connected with direct flights to 136 destinations around the world, with an extensive reinforcement on key routes of great interest such as the one to New York and others to the Middle East. It shows that the destination is consolidating its leap to distant markets. In total there will be six more routes with which to fly non-stop from Malaga Airport during this high season, which is always signalled when the clocks change during the last weekend of this month and that lasts until the end of October.

The airlines have reaffirmed their commitment to the Costa del Sol and have scheduled an unprecedented 20 million seats to fly to and from Malaga Airport, a figure that represents an increase of 11% compared to the record-breaking summer of 2023. The runways of the infrastructure will also be operating as never before. The companies have scheduled a total of 110,000 flights, some 11.4% more than the previous high season.

It should be remembered that last year the airlines put 18 million seats on sale for the summer season, a figure that represented as many passengers as those registered in 2022 and 14.4% more seats than in the historic summer of 2019. In terms of operations, the volume of flights scheduled by the airlines for this period in 2023 was 99,400.

National and international pull

This strong upturn is determined by the firm commitment made both on flights within Spain and on the international scene. Spain's state airport operator Aena detailed that the airlines have scheduled more than 15.7 million seats within Europe, which represents an increase of 11.4% and 83,230 flights, some 10.3% more from Malaga. The United Kingdom remains the most important market, with the highest number of seats on offer, almost 4.7 million, and more than 24,500 flights.

In addition, with regard to movements between Spanish airports, the airlines have increased their offer with 20.7% more flights, which, in absolute terms, raises the volume of scheduled commercial operations to over 21,890, consolidating their commitment to the strength of domestic tourism. The number of seats available for travel within Spain has also risen to almost 3.3 million, some 9.8% more than those offered by airlines with Spanish airports for the 2023 summer season.

Key UK market

On the international scene, which is led by the United Kingdom, Aena also highlighted the increase in connections with the main European markets such as Germany, with an increase of 21.1% more seats and almost 21% more flights. Also notable is the increase in air capacity in the Netherlands, with 14.3% more seats and 11% more aircraft movements, and in Italy, with almost 23% more seats and operations.

The key market is once again the UK, consolidating its position as the country most connected to Malaga Airport. The airlines have scheduled nearly 4.7 million seats and more than 24,500 flight operations with the United Kingdom for the period starting on Sunday 31 March. London remains at the forefront as the city with the most seats and flights offered by the airlines, specifically, with almost two million seats and 10,000 flights. The British capital is followed by Paris, Barcelona, Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, Manchester, Stockholm and Copenhagen, which complete the ranking of the ten cities with the most seats offered at the Costa del Sol airport.

Destinations

Among the other big news is that this summer Malaga will have a daily flight to New York from 2 May. United Airlines will take a big leap forwards on the Costa del Sol, tripling its flight offer after its first summer operating this route, specifically, from 52 flight operations to 150 between Malaga and Newark airport. In addition, the company will start operating a month earlier than its debut at Malaga Airport. The airline will maintain this air connection until 25 September and will operate with the same aircraft type, a Boeing 757-200.

In addition, Malaga Airport is consolidating its presence in the Middle East after Qatar Airways confirmed that its high season flight will become permanent all year round from 31 March, with at least three frequencies a week. The airline's Vice President of Sales in Europe, Eric Odone, considered it "a milestone" to start operating all year round a route that since 2018 has been operated only in the summer months. Odone said that this commitment will generally mean carrying more than 1,500 passengers a week. This figure will increase to more than 3,000 a week in the two months that the airline will fly daily. Malaga, therefore, becomes the third airport in Spain with a permanent connection to Doha, after Madrid and Barcelona. And it also means that the capital of the Costa del Sol will become part of the network of 170 destinations in the world with which the flag carrier of the State of Qatar connects from its hub at Doha airport.

Airlines

The main airlines at Malaga Airport in terms of passenger volume, Ryanair and easyJet, have already announced an unprecedented offer this summer.

Ryanair has big plans for the high season, which will begin at the end of March and last until October, with a record operation with direct flights from Malaga Airport to 89 destinations in Europe and North Africa. The Irish company is increasing its commitment to the Costa del Sol to offer 5.3 million seats, some 19% more than last summer, which was also a record. The airline's country manager for Spain and Portugal, Elena Cabrera, has said that Malaga is the only airport in Spain where the company has increased by three the number of planes they will have based there, going from thirteen to 16.

Likewise, the British company easyJet has announced that it has three new routes scheduled for summer. The third largest airline in terms of passenger volume at the Costa del Sol airport will additionally link Malaga with direct flights to Athens, Nantes and Nice. The new schedule means that it will add more than 30,000 seats to its flight programme for the summer season in Malaga.

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